Eat. Play. Laugh Brunch - Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi

Brunch Reviews | In Unspecified on November 29th, 2017
300-400 AED
A playful spin on the traditional Friday brunch, EAT. PLAY. LAUGH suggestively directs guests with the three core elements that form the basis of every good brunch, and unashamedly sticks its hand up as an entry into the party brunch category. In it's boldness, it tries to do something different, certainly for Abu Dhabi. And while there are elements we thought could be improved upon, we applaud them for being brave enough to go against the grain as we will explain further on.   THE FOOD   The culinary coming together of numerous signature dishes from multiple outlets is an approach we have seen at many brunches before, and it is no different here with food on show from The JW Steakhouse, Velocity, Central Grounds and Kuzbara itself as the brunch host restaurant.     Dishes of note were to come from the from the Indian Chaat station, the spicy Tandoori Buri Aloo and the BBQ Prawns & Lobster which merited multiple trips throughout the day, especially if you managed to time your trips to coincide with the exact moment the prawns came off the grill. Down at the far end of the bar, Velocity showcased Chicken Wings, Lobster rolls, Lobster spring rolls and some mini sliders. Although the wings didn't have the outer layer of crispy skin that we usually prefer, the holy hot sauce accompaniment was a surprising yet devilish enhancement that made up for the lack of seasoning somewhat. We cooled down with Tsarskaya Oysters served with a Bloody Mary, created our own Caesar Salad from the salad bar, and finally sampled the imposing Passion Fruit "Freak shake" before turning our attentions to the games.     THE DRINK   An imposing sign next to a trolley laden with Jack Daniels and various cocktail accoutrements read ‘'Keep your friends close, and your Bourbon closer." Rules to live by in our book, but before turning our attentions to the trolley, we ordered a selection of Watermelon Margarita's, Caipirinha's, Frozen Daiquiri's, Blackberry Mojito's, Sangria and a Matcha Iced Tea from the various drink stations.   Grape enthusiasts will find Red (Cabernet, Piccini ITA), Whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Table Mountain, SA or Chardonnay, Piccini ITA), Rose (Syrah, Piccini, ITA) and a refreshing change to see a Champagne instead of a sparling wine on offer from the duo of bars at either end of the narrow restaurant. (Duval LeRoy, FRA)     OVERALL   At first, we found ourselves a little taken aback and light-heartedly joked that we sounded like a group of moaning grandparents with universal calls of "the music's too loud, the lights are too bright, the walk from top to bottom too far and the space is too narrow," reminding us of a school dinner hall. Aside from our early gripes, the loud music was actually some of the best we had heard in a long time, with old school R'n'B tracks from the likes of Rihanna, 112 & Michael Jackson creating a party-like ambiance that kept our toes tapping and bums swaying on our seats. Not to rest on his laurels, the DJ-cum-quiz-master (DJ Sim) goes from table to table playing an adult version of "Mr & Mrs" for a mystery prize (a round of shots for the table!) with the ever-enchanting talents of James Harrington and his close up magic also on show to confuse and astound.   In terms of the PLAY aspect of the brunch, the computer games by the entrance, the giant connect 4, the shots board on arrival, giant jenga, the fooseball table, games master AND magician "may" seem a tad much for certain people, especially those just wanting a quiet meal and a catch up with a friend. On the flip side, with views looking out onto the main road and Al Wahda Mall not the most picturesque in the city (we would also suggest dimming the lights ever so slightly until guests have acclimatized), we would argue that the multiple and entertaining distractions are actually fully necessary, particularly in terms of DJ Sim and James Harrington, who perform their roles impeccably and are worth returning for in their own right.   We took advantage of the overnight stay at the hotel when booking a brunch for two on the Play & Stay Package.     Packages: The brunch takes place from 12:30 - 4pm every Friday EAT Package: AED 275++ including soft drinks PLAY Package: AED 380++ including house beverages and a selection of cocktails LAUGH Package: AED 450++ including sparkling wine   To Book call +971 2 304 7777   Kuzbara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  

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